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Doctor insights on: Does Bleeding During Placebo Week On Birth Control Mean Not Pregnant

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Is withdrawal bleeding (not spotting, actual bleeding) during placebo week on combination birth control pills evidence you are not pregnant?

Is withdrawal bleeding (not spotting, actual bleeding) during placebo week on combination birth control pills evidence you are not pregnant?

True: It sounds like you are saying that you are having a normal period during your 'period pills week.' if that's the case, you are most likely not pregnant. Do a pregnancy test if you need to for confirmation. ...Read more

Dr. Michael Gabor
4 Doctors shared insights

Pregnancy (Definition)

When your due date arrives, you will be more than ready to have your baby! Most women deliver the baby somewhere between 37 and 42 weeks. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, only 5% of babies arrive on the exact due date. Approximately 7% of babies are not delivered by 42 weeks, and when that happens, it is referred to ...Read more


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On Apri birth control, had protected sex and got normal withdrawal bleed on placebo week when expected. Does that mean not pregnant?

On Apri birth control, had protected sex and got normal withdrawal bleed on placebo week when expected. Does that mean not pregnant?

Good work: You are practicing responsible safe sex practices and it sounds like you are doing it right! Keep up the good work! ...Read more

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Am I pregnant if I had a light bleeding during placebo week one month after sex? I switched birth controls, and it was dark brown, lasted 4 days?

Am I pregnant if I had a light bleeding during placebo week one month after sex? I switched birth controls, and it was dark brown, lasted 4 days?

Pregnancy test: If the last time you had sex was a month ago, you should do a home pregnancy test. If the result is negative repeat the test 4-5 days later unless you get a period by then. Use first morning urine and follow the instructions for the test carefully.
If you do not wish to be pregnant, use contraception all the time, every time. You may consider implanted contraceptive, or IUD.
Practice safe sex.
Get HPV vaccine. ...Read more

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Why is it that you cannot get pregnant during the placebo week when taking birth control pills?

Why is it that you cannot get pregnant during the placebo week when taking birth control pills?

Not enough time to: When taking the placebo pills, (esp. If the placebo pills last a full week-b/c newer pills have only a 2-4 day placebo interval) there is some prelim. Production of fsh to stim prod of some early cysts, but not quite enough time usually to allow for a dominant follicle/egg to begin maturomg/get released before starting to suppress t hem again when re-starting the active hormone pills. ...Read more

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If you're pregnant while on birth control, will you still get your period during placebo week? Or will it stop?

If you're pregnant while on birth control, will you still get your period during placebo week? Or will it stop?

Period no show: There will not be a period during that week. Besides, if you take your pill every day at the same time each day, pregnancy very very rarely occurs under those circumstances. ...Read more

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If you get pregnant while in birth control pills would you still get a period during placebo week?

If you get pregnant while in birth control pills would you still get a period during placebo week?

Possibly yes: Whether on birth control or not, typically women who conceived will not get a menstrual period. However, some women do have their menstrual periods sometimes just a few cycles into their pregnancies, occasionally throughout the entire pregnancy. Having had a menstrual period is not a reliable indicator for a woman that she is not pregnant. ...Read more

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I'm on birth control. I missed a day and then bled the following day for a week. I did not get my period during placebo week. Am I pregnant?

I'm on birth control. I missed a day and then bled the following day for a week. I did not get my period during placebo week. Am I pregnant?

Unlikely: If you had unprotected sex it is possible but very unlikely. Best way to check is home pregnancy test on first morning urine. If neg repeat in 7-10 days. If both neg very unlikely you are pregnant. Should always use condom to protect from std and possible pill failure due missed dose. Hope this helps. Best of luck. Dr R ...Read more

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I mIssed a birth control pill in my 3rd week & got my period. I kept taking pills. If I have sex during my placebo week will I risk pregnancy.?

No: Missing just 1 pill in the 3rd week and then having sex in the placebo week should not place you at risk for pregnancy. You can also use a condom to be extra safe. ...Read more

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If I am pregnant will I still get my period on placebo week for birth control?

If I am pregnant will I still get my period on placebo week for birth control?

No: Quite uncommon to have periods with pregnancy. Not zero--there can be bleeding in pregnancy, often for serious complications of pregnancy--but this is quite unusual ...Read more

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If you're taking an antibiotic and also on the placebo week of your birth control pill will that affect you getting pregnant?

If you're taking an antibiotic and also on the placebo week of your birth control pill will that affect you getting pregnant?

Possibly: Antibiotics can interfere with the hormones in pills and result in accidental pregnancy, but placebo pills have no hormones in them. To be safe, though, since some antibiotics stay in the body for several days after you finish them, I would advise using a condom for backup the entire time you're taking antibiotics and for a week after, even if you start your antibiotics while on placebo pills.. ...Read more

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I switched from Portia birth control to junel fe 1/20. The second week on junel was period-like. Now no period on placebo week. Pregnant?

I switched from Portia birth control to junel fe 1/20. The second week on junel was period-like. Now no period on placebo week. Pregnant?

Probably not: The change in pills can throw your period off. The junel is very low dose and therefore causes periods to be very light -sometimes just spotting. If you keep taking them, the breakthru bleeding should get better. If you are still worried about pregnancy, do a pregnancy test and trust the results. ...Read more

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Are you still protected from pregnancy even though you have breakthrough bleeding 4 days before placebo birth control pills?

Are you still protected from pregnancy even though you have breakthrough bleeding 4 days before placebo birth control pills?

Normally: This can happen for no particular reason and protection is unaffected. If however it occurred because you have been erratic about taking your pills or you have been on other medications, particularly antibiotics, then effectiveness may be reduced. ...Read more

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I missed two active birth control pills and now I am on the placebo pills. My breakthrough bleeding has not come on yet, am I at risk for pregnancy?

I missed two active birth control pills and now I am on the placebo pills. My breakthrough bleeding has not come on yet, am I at risk for pregnancy?

Unfortunately, yes: Even with perfect pill use there's still a tiny risk of pregnancy, but once you start missing them, the risk goes up. The "withdrawal bleeding" that you normally have during the placebo week would be a reassuring sign, but you could take a pregnancy test too. As long as it's been 14 days since your last intercourse, it should be accurate (first morning urine is best). Good luck! ...Read more

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Can I have unprotected sex on placebo days of pack if I don't have withdrawal bleeding w/o getting pregnet? Been taking birth control for months

Can I have unprotected sex on placebo days of pack if I don't have withdrawal bleeding w/o getting pregnet? Been taking birth control for months

Yes: Birth control pills, when taken each day at about the same time, are still working to prevent pregnancy, regardless of whether the withdrawal bleeding is lighter than expected, heavier than expected, or intentionally prevented. However, if the withdrawal bleeding is unintentionally missing, one can check a home urine pregnancy test. Real life can surprise you sometimes. ...Read more

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Does having a withdrawal bleed during the week of inactive pills on birth control pills mean you are not pregnant like a period off the pill does?

Does having a withdrawal bleed during the week of inactive pills on birth control pills mean you are not pregnant like a period off the pill does?

Almost always: If you get your withdrawal bleeding on the last week of pills, you are almost certainly not pregnant. That being said, nature is "wonderful"...If you think you may be pregnant, get a pregnancy test to make sure you are not. A home pg test will suffice. ...Read more

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On birth control for 2 years. During placebo week, I have cramps, bloating, diarrhea, but no bleeding. Have no other symptoms. Need to be concerned?

On birth control for 2 years. During placebo week, I have cramps, bloating, diarrhea, but no bleeding. Have no other symptoms. Need to be concerned?

Not really: Sometimes changing pills helps or sometimes I have the patient skip the placebos and just take constant BCPs.
this way there is no period week and the symptoms may not occur.
occasionally this may be a sign of endometriosis, but usually the pain is less consistent and often painful sex accompanies it. ...Read more

Placebo (Definition)

Placebos are generally medications and sometimes physical or psychological substitutes which in themselves have no known effect but which cause the patient to feel as if they are getting some effect. They depend upon patient expectations and the fact that there is a strong psychological component ...Read more


Dr. Jeff Livingston
2,394 Doctors shared insights

Contraception (Definition)

Contraceptiion is a means of preventing conception (or fertilization). There are hormonal and non hormonal methods of preventing sperm and egg from meeting. Talk to your doctor or clinic about what options are best for you. There are short acting methods (condoms, pills, patch, ring) and long ...Read more